Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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HomeLiterature The Moonlit Spring River

[Poem] The Moonlit Spring River

Tr. by Fred X. Meng (孟宪波译)

春江花月夜(The Moonlit Spring River)
*(唐)张若虚 (Zhang Ruoxu, the Tang Dynasty)

  • 春江潮水连海平,
    [Chūnjiāng cháoshuǐ lián hǎipíng]
    Into the sea empties the spring river tides,
  • 海上明月共潮生。
    [Hǎishàng míngyuè gòng cháo shēng]
    Over the tides the bright full moon shines.
  • 滟滟随波千万里,
    [Yàn yàn suí bō qiān wàn lǐ]
    Rippling waves roll thousands of miles,
  • 何处春江不月明。
    [Hé chù chūnjiāng bù yuè míng.volume_u]
    Entire river’s enshrouded as the moon rises.




  • 江流婉转绕芳甸,
    [Jiāng liú wǎnzhuǎn rào fāng diān]
    River winds through flower-dotted wilderness,
  • 月照花林皆似霰。
    [Yuè zhào huā lín jiē shì xiàn]
    Graupel covers the moonlit flowering woods.
  • 空里流霜不觉飞,
    [Kōng lǐ liú shuāng bù jué fēi]
    White sand beach can be seen nowhere,
  • 汀上白沙看不见。
    [Tīng shàng báishā kàn bùjiàn]
    While the moonbeam is flying everywhere.




  • 江天一色无纤尘,
    [Jiāngtiān yīsè wú xiānchén,]
    Looked alike sky and river are free of dust,
  • 皎皎空中孤月轮。
    [Jiǎojiǎo kōngzhōng gū yuè lún.]
    The lonely moon is full of clearness and luster.
  • 江畔何人初见月,
    [Jiāng pàn hérén chū jiàn yuè]
    Who was the first man ever to see the moon,
  • 江月何时初照人。
    [Jiāng yuè hé shí chū zhào rén]
    When did the moonlight first ever gleam on man.




  • 人生代代无穷已,
    [Rénshēng dài dài wúqióng yǐ]
    Generations run on without coming to an end,
  • 江月年年只相似。
    [Jiāng yuè nián nián zhǐ xiāngsì.]
    Year on year the glimpse of the moon remains.
  • 不知江月照何人,
    [Bùzhī jiāngyuèzhào hérén]
    Does anyone know whom the moon is expecting?
  • 但见长江送流水。
    [Dàn jiàn chángjiāng sòng liúshuǐ]
    Nothing except the river is forever flowing.




  • 白云一片去悠悠,
    [Báiyún yīpiàn qù yōuyōu]
    A trace of white cloud wanders yonder,
  • 清枫浦上不胜愁。
    [Qīng fēng pǔshàng bùshèng chóu]
    How sorrowful the solitary wife is I wonder.
  • 谁家今夜扁舟子?
    [Shéi jiā jīnyè piānzhōu zi]
    The wanderer is drifting on a skiff tonight,
  • 何处相思明月楼?
    [Hé chù xiāngsī míngyuè lóu]
    Leaving his lovesick wife in the moonlight.




  • 可怜楼上月徘徊,
    [Kělián lóu shàng yuè páihuái]
    The wretched moon overhead does rover,
  • 应照离人妆镜台。
    [Yīng zhào lí rén zhuāng jìngtái]
    The beam cast on the toilet table in her boudoir.
  • 玉户帘中卷不去,
    [Yù hù lián zhōng juǎn bù qù]
    Furling the curtains or whisking the washing-stone,
  • 捣衣砧上拂还来。
    [Dǎo yī zhēn shàng fú hái lái]
    Yet the moonlight is bound to doggedly loiter.




  • 此时相望不相闻,
    [Cǐ shí xiāng wàng bù xiāng wén]
    We can’t meet each other with the same moon though,
  • 愿随月华流照君。
    [Yuàn suí yuè huá liú zhào jūn]
    I wish I could follow the moon which shines over you.
  • 鸿雁长飞光不度,
    [Hóngyàn zhǎng fēi guāng bù dù]
    Even wild geese can not beat the glittering moonlight,
  • 鱼龙潜跃水成文。
    [Yú lóng qián yuè shuǐ chéngwén]
    No diving fish or dragons can bring you back to my sight.




  • 昨夜闲潭梦落花,
    [Zuóyè xián tán mèng luòhuā]
    I dreamed about some fallen petals in a serene pond,
  • 可怜春半不还家。
    [Kělián chūn bàn bù hái jiā]
    Spring’s halfway past yet home’s nowhere to be found.
  • 江水流春去欲尽,
    [Jiāngshuǐ liú chūn qù yù jǐn]
    Gone with the river is nothing but the dearest spring,
  • 江潭落月复西斜。
    [Jiāng tán luò yuè fù xī xié]
    The pond reflects the moon which is on the wane.




  • 斜月沉沉藏海雾,
    [Xié yuè chénchén cáng hǎi wù]
    Behind the sea fog is the slanting moon hidden,
  • 竭石潇湘无限路。
    [Jié shí xiāoxiāng wúxiàn lù]
    There is a long distance to cover afore our reunion.
  • 不知乘月几人归,
    [Bùzhī chéng yuè jǐ rén guī]
    The returning journey how many people can make,
  • 落月摇情满江树。
    [Luò yuè yáo qíng mǎn jiāng shù]
    Nothing but the moonlit woods by the river shake.
About Fred X. Meng

Fred X. Meng, a well-established translator and simultaneous interpreter born in Shandong, China. His major works and translations include Change We Can Believe In, Learning English from Obama, Carol of the Dead, Chinese Characters, etc. He has worked as an interpreter for Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Zeng Peiyan, Sam Nujoma, Gary Lock, Steven Chu, Li Yining, Jiang Ping, among other dignitaries and experts. 

孟宪波,出生于中国山东。翻译家、同声传译专家。学识渊博,著述甚丰。主要著作和译著有:《我们相信变革》、《中国林业发展和生态建设白皮书》、《中国医疗改革方案》、《汶川地震灾后恢复与重建总体规划》、《泛美开发银行文案》、《打造和谐海洋》、《跟奥巴马学英语》、《中外改革大事典》、《亡灵颂歌》、《震惊世界的国际间谍》、《奥运赋》、《采购与供应谈判》、《采购与供应关系管理》、《银行业务英语教程》、《春江花月夜》、《长恨歌》、《致橡树》、《孩子快抓紧妈妈的手》、《会唱歌的鸢尾花》、《独具特色的世界遗产——泰山》、《山东省守合同重信用企业概览》、《杜华画集》、《见证辉煌》、《大唐电力文件汇编》、《充满机遇的世界》、《跟奥巴马学英语2》、《汉字中华》等;曾担任曾培炎、李克强、王岐山、成思危、郑万通、唐家璇等领导同志,厉以宁、江平等专家学者以及努乔马(Sam Nujoma)、骆家辉(Gary Lock)和朱棣文(Steven Chu)等外国政要的口译或同声传译译员。

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